After the recent hack of Insomniac games, many internal details of games, studio plans and employees were unfortunately leaked by a ransomware group. As reported by Insider Gaming, part of the financial documents revealed that Sunset Overdrive (released in 2014 on Xbox One and 2018 for Windows PC) made only $567 profit since it was released. If you are curious to see the summary of net sales, development costs, units sold and more data, a user on Resetera has shared the image.
It’s worth noting that the game didn’t sell only $567 worth of copies – it actually sold around 1.9 million units at full price. The net units number for Sunset Overdrive (Xbox and PC) shows as 1,898,433 and the Net Sales amount to $49,737,144.
However, the IG (Insomniac Games) share on the document is shown to be $567 and the development cost is $42,682,135. The reason why the number could be this low is because it’s Insomniac’s cut of the profit after accounting for factors like development costs, publishing deals, revenue sharing, etc.
The game was published by Microsoft which will also take a cut (since it was an Xbox One exclusive), and there are retailers as well as other partners that get a share. Overall, this has been a surprising discovery for gamers, giving us a glimpse into just how much a game has to sell to truly be massively profitable.
Moreover, the Windows version was developed by Blind Squirrel Games, a studio that has also worked on Mass Effect Legendary Edition, BioShock: The Collection and the Nintendo Switch port of WWE 2K18.
This is why the developer’s final profit could be significantly lower. Sunset Overdrive itself was a successful title because it received various award nominations. In the UK, Sunset Overdrive was the second best-selling game in its release week, beaten by FIFA 15.
Here’s a top comment on Reddit that gives further insight.
On September 13, 2018, Insomniac Games wanted to make a sequel for Sunset Overdrive but since the rights to the IP is owned by Insomniac, they would require a new publishing partner since the game has quite a big scope (as evident by its development cost).
In 2019, Sony acquired Insomniac after which then SIE Chairman Shawn Layden mentioned that Sunset Overdrive 2 was not a priority for Sony and Insomniac. However, in 2021, Sony registered a trademark for Sunset Overdrive.
In the massive leak that Insomniac was a victim to recently, it was discovered that the sequel was cancelled in favor of Spider-Man, partly due to the first game not selling well.
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